Swimming: Price claims sole success for Britain with bronze

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The Independent Online

Medals were hard to come by for Great Britain on day two of the European Short Course Championships here yesterday with Sarah Price the only Briton to climb the podium.

The 23-year-old from Barnet Copthall, who will defend her 200m title tomorrow, won a bronze in the 100m backstroke. She had to fight hard for her third place moving up from fourth in the closing stages to finish in 59.83sec.

In front of Price, Ilona Hlavackova of the Czech Republic won the silver with Germany's Anje Buschschulte winning the gold in 58.60sec.

Price admitted: "I'm pleased with that although I'm not feeling right. I'm in hard training covering 60,000m a week so to break the 60 seconds barrier is pleasing."

Seasoned campaigners Alison Sheppard and James Hickman failed to win medals after starting as the fastest qualifiers for their events. Hickman, the 26-year-old and champion back in Sheffield in 1998, finished fourth in the 50m backstroke. Germany's Thomas Rupprath won the event in 50.77 – his third gold of the championship.

Sheppard, the 30-year-old Glaswegian, missed the bronze medal in the 100m freestyle by 0.01sec when she was edged out by Germany's Petra Dallmann in 54.03. The race produced a dead heat for gold between Alena Popchamka from Belarus and Martina Moravcova from Slovakia. Sheppard later qualified third-fastest for the 100m medley final.